With any move, but especially to a foreign country, there are frustrations. Adapting to how things are done in a different place takes time, patience, and understanding. We’ve been experiencing this quite a bit in the past month. In Thailand, the expression is “mai bpen rai” which essentially means “don’t sweat it” or “never mind”. A friend of mine equates it as the Thai equivalent to “hakuna matata”, haha. I’ll try to explain in a few bullet points.
- When trying to pay our car rental or home rent payments with an ATM and not knowing exactly how to send money to the provider’s savings account. (People you pay provide their savings account numbers)
- Not knowing what type of gas to put in your tank (I know unleaded, but which pump!?!) and realizing that you don’t pump it yourself but rather allow the attendant and they ONLY take payment in cash at the pump.
- Trying to get simple lawn maintenance done only through referred Thai people as we don’t speak the language and can only work through referral. They usually take about two days to complete the work as well, I believe.
- Getting fresh water delivered to our home by a weekly truck vendor and leaving payment taped to the empty water bottles is a new experience.
- Realizing that google maps will often take you a completely WRONG way because of the lost translation of street names and businesses at times.
- Trying to use bamboo brooms and rakes to do simple house chores takes some skill.
- Drying clothes outside on a line.
- When does the mail run? (I’ve yet to notice a marked vehicle for delivery.. it seems to just appear)
- Learning to embrace the metric system. Understanding distance with kilometers and temperature in celsius.
- Learning to cook with different ingredients ie. fish sauce, chili sauce, sesame oil, unusual squashes, minced porks, dried fishes, etc.
- Trying out a squat toilet for the first time as well as embracing the “bum guns”.
These are the things I’ve encountered in a month and we are definitely handling it in stride. I’m sure I overlooked a few. The great thing is there is always someone around who is willing to take time away from whatever they are doing to help you figure it all out!